Li style

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by caveman, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Hello, new here. I was wondering could anyone give me information
    on Li or Lee style. Thanks.
  2. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Hi Caveman,
    Li I Yu was a practitioner of Wu Yuxiang's style:

    but there has not historically been any recognition of a separate Li style.

    The Lee or Li style of Chee Soo is a fake Tai Chi style, unrecognised outside of the UK, although some work is being done by his family members to try to link him to Li I Yu, thereby giving credibility to the style, although the forms look nothing like each other.

    Oh - just so my back is covered, I'd better add the word "allegedly," as in it is "allegedly" a completely bogus lineage.
  3. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Suspected as much. Thank you.
  4. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member


    Based on my own (admittedly fairly limited) experience, I'd say give Li style a wide berth and do one of the recognised styles instead.
    Theserialkiller likes this.
  5. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Gottcha. Will do. Just thought i'd check it out as it's the nearest club (Lancaster).
    Might make the journey to Manchester to take a look at the Zhong Ding (think thats how its spelt) association.
  6. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    They're often pretty good - and generally quite martial. Check out John Higginson.
  7. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member


    Hi All,

    Just a couple of observations...

    There is no such thing as FAKE Tai Chi (Well not in the context of this discusion) - Every style of Tai Chi was started by someone at some time - so they are all equally FAKE.

    When learning any martial art you should ask yourself two basic questions - WHAT do I want to learn and what am I learning it for? Then go and find someone who will teach you what you want.

    If you want to learn a martial art that is completely genuine and many many thousands of years old, pick up a rock and throw it at someone...

    All the best.

    Robert Agar-Hutton
  8. RobP

    RobP Valued Member

    There may be something in that, but if someone made it up they should say "I made it up after studying X Y and Z" rather than claiming a 3000 year old history IMHO


  9. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    In this case, the guy who made it up was an Aikido instructor who read a book on Tai Chi, making up the movements in between the pictures, and called it "Lee family" to jump on the Bruce Lee craze bandwagon. Allegedly.
    Theserialkiller likes this.
  10. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Bah, next you'll claim polar bear style tai chi his no lineage!
    The Zen Polar Bears of WhiteDang Mountain have held back the evil Daoist Brown Bears from conquering human kind for millennia.

    Is the Lee style any good, does anyone know?

    The Bear.
    GrandMaster of the White Ponch.
  11. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I only did a few lessons, then went and found a proper style which actually taught me some Taiji.

    But for all I know, it may have got really good just after I left. ;)
  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    So who what style do you do know?
  13. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Maybe the OP was referring to General Li's Tai Chi, dont know too much about it, but here is some, I think:

    [ame=""]Chang Tung Sheng taichi - YouTube[/ame]

    Here is some more info:
  14. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

    There are a few Lee style tai chi teachers in the Newcastle area. The one that I have personally seen is very good at tai chi.
    As for Chee Soo jumping on the Bruce Lee bandwagon, I'm sure he started teaching in the late 40's early 50's, so if he was jumping on the bandwagon he started a bit early.
  15. RobP

    RobP Valued Member

    He was actually from round my way - East Ham - and his name was Clifford Gibbs. Never actually met the guy (met his daughter I think) but heard many many stories from the East London MA crowd.

    Consensus seemed to be he had some ability in aiki-type work but surrounded it with some other dubious practices - the chang ming diet, etc



  16. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member


    I trained with Chee Soo (AKA Clifford Gibbs) for about six weeks when he taught at the Seymour Hall Baths in (I think) the late 70's - I liked his Tai Chi and his Kung Fu (Feng Shau???) but didn't like the esoteric Chi stuff...

    Was he any good? Well over the years I have met some of his students and I suspect that he was - he was certainly (as far as I know) one of the very first people to be teaching westerners openly...

    YMMD (your Mileage May Differ).

    All the best.

  17. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    Hi Rob,

    I agree with you on this - I currently teach a Tai Chi sword form called "At the Eastern Gate" - my students all know that it is a form that I have made up.

    Is it any good? Maybe, maybe not - I like it, my students like it, end of story :)

    All the best.

  18. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    According to his daughter, he started training in the Japanese styles of Judo, Aikido and Kendo in 1945, and he had opened his own school by 1947!

    He apparently taught these arts for 10 years, before switching to teaching Ch'i Shu (Locks & Throws) and the Kung Fu system of Feng Shou ("Hand of the Wind Kung Fu").

    He didn't teach Taijiquan until much later. Why do you think that was?

    Then, in the words of his daughter, Lavinia Soo Warr:

    So frankly, given the outlandish claims of his Taiji book, the fact that he didn't teach Chinese arts that anyone had ever really heard of (where is "Hand of the Wind Kung Fu" in any CMA history book?) plus the facts that he didn't start teaching Taijiquan until later in his life, apparently didn't teach his students the things he taught to his family AND he watered it down as he got older, none of it really bodes well for the style.

    None of this means that subsequent generations haven't studied hard and learned to fight quite well, but I think it would be better to acknowledge that his teachings were not very authentic, rather than painting them out to be authentic and ancient.
  19. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    The question I would have to ask is whether or not it is martially functional. If it is, then obviously there's no problem.
  20. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    Since weapon forms are in the main solo, it is hard to tell if a form is martially functional. All you can look for is the full range of cuts, and what may be parries. Beyond that you need some form of fencing/sparring to explore deeper.

    General Li form? Does that involve jumping over rivers to get away from Sherrif Rosco and shouting yeee-haaaa!?

    Is it functional? That's the only real question that should be asked about a MA.

    If you don't want self defence then is it beneficial (health/exercise/etc) or just a way to fill some guys wallet?

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